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Fort Lafayette Taken

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

May 31.—Day before yesterday, fifteen hundred men, consisting of British and Hessian grenadiers, light infantry, volunteers of Ireland and Yagers, landed on Teller’s Point, eight miles below Peekskill, on the North River,1 and the following day another party landed on the west side of the river, where they burnt some houses, and opened two small batteries, from which they threw shells, and cannonaded Fort de la Fayette across the river, all day; at the same time two galleys kept up a severe fire on the fort. They have continued their firing till eleven o’clock to-day. Meanwhile their army marched from Teller’s to Verplanck’s Point, on which the fort stands. By a flag they demanded a surrender; the parley continued two hours, when Captain Armstrong thought fit to surrender. General McDougall has not yet received a justifiable reason why the fort was given up.

This little fort was built on purpose to secure King’s ferry from the insults of the enemy’s vessels, which frequently interrupted the American boats in crossing. It was small, and would contain, with conveniency, about a company of men. The redoubt was strong, and covered a barbette battery, mounting three pieces of cannon. We had in the barbette a company of artillery; they were all drawn off but a sergeant, a corporal, and twelve privates. In the redoubt were a captain, two subalterns, three sergeants, and forty-four rank and file. They had provisions and water sufficient to serve them thirty days.2


1 In the State of New York.
2 New Jersey Gazette, June 9.